ard (
Fri, 11 Apr 1997 14:01:00 +0200

often in the past I'd spoken to people who would talk and talk
> about 'ego', but when I asked them what they meant by the word they
> and ahh-ed and failed to define it. They talk about this thing, they
> to have one, but don't actually know what it is.

That appears to be "normal" for humans, does it not? Can we not see the
same thing happening on this list when it comes to "mysticism"; i.e.;
judgement made without examination?

> > Would you suggest that Socrates' admonition to "Know thyself."
> > applies in this modern age?
> Yes. Why shouldn't it?

Would "knowing" oneself be useful as a prelude to re-programming?

> > What do you consider "ego nonsense"?

> The fact that we all like to regard ourselves as somehow better than we
> really are. Even the most deranged killers think that they have a good
> reason for what they do.

Isn't this an almost universal trait of humans to self-justify?

> > How would someone "know" they were seeing themselves as they "truly
> Because their internal model of themselves would match their actions. If,
> say, I was to go around telling everyone that I was going to be a famous
> writer yet I never wrote anything, then I would clearly have an ego
> problem and would never attain my goal until I solved it.
> > How does seeing oneself as one truly is, help to see your life the
> > way any other individual sees their own life?

This question was in response to..."Probably, you already saw your life
differently from the way any of us see our lives."

> Uh, can you start that question again?

Since all humans have different values, world-views, etc. they would each
see their lives as they are; uniquely different. It would not be
reasonable to expect any two individuals to have the same life, or to even
share the same world-view, would it?
> > Do you think you are 'just' a computer?

> There's no neurophysiological evidence to think otherwise, unless the
> quantum mechanical effects in the brain are truly significant. You cannot
> conclusively prove that we don't have 'souls', but there seems little
> point when the vast majority of human behaviour can be explained without
> them.
> > Is this just another way of simplifying humans?
> I don't really understand the question, but if anything I'd say it's
> another way of complexifying humans. Claiming that we're 'souls' in
> physical bodies is a much greater simplification. If we accept that we
> computers then exploring the precise details of our operation will be
> extremely complex. Frankly I find the idea of humans as computers far
> bizzare and puzzling than the idea of humans as immortal souls incarnated
> in flesh.
Have you studied anatomy and physiology yet? The point being, that when
humans began making and using machines extensively, they had a mechanistic
view of the Universe, including bodies. Now they appear to be doing the
same with the body, which has to be a gross over-simplification of this
very complex item.

> Nope. It's not something you can tell to anyone; they have to go out and
> find it for themselves, though you could point them in the right
> as the Buddhists try to do. You'll just have to trust that the switch
> exists and go hunting for yours by yourself. Anyone who claims that they
> can tell you how to do it is trying to sell a religion.

This sounds consistent with our experience. :-)

> Because 100% bliss would require that I shut down all processing in my
> brain except for the bliss-circuits. I've never been there, but I've been
> close.

If you have never "been there", you don't really "know" what 100% Bliss
requires, do you?

> Been there, done that. I sort of agree if you use 'letting in god' in the
> sense of Crowley's 'true will'. A lot of mystics have talked about moving
> out of the way and letting 'god' work thru them. This seems to be what
> they're talking about; the idea that 'god' created us with our 'true
> wills/true natures' and that the way to follow the 'will of god' is to
> find your 'true will' and follow that.

It also sounds like Joseph Campbells' "follow your bliss".

> Seems about right to me, but this depends mostly on motivation. Many
> people set out to change habits but don't have the motivation to do so
> properly or are so stuck in their social role that the people they
> interact with won't let them. It's just a matter of repeating the new
> behaviour until the new pathways through the brain's neural network take
> over and the old ones rot away through disuse.

We have seen this too. Perhaps if they first understood themselves, they
would also understand their habits.

> > Do you know of a modern, scientific, rational form of mysticism?
> Crowley's Thelema is the closest that I know of, though the Chaos
> Magickians might qualify. Of course Crowley never did get the hang of
> ego-loss himself, much to his chagrin.

"...chagrin..." disappointment....comes from expectation....this
explains why he "never did get the hang of ego-loss"

> > Do you know of any mystical scientists, living or dead?
> Didn't Crowley study Chemistry at Cambridge? I think someone already
> mentioned Newton, and various 20th century scientists have had some kind
> of mystic beliefs. Do Leary and Lilly count?

Of course. We were just checking. :-)